February 21st, 2012 | Published in Haventon Chronicles
Chapter Nine Part One
Ragnar woke the moment Anna began actively fighting his suggestions. With his mind powers severely curtailed by daylight he was forced to watch helplessly as David broke her loose. He lay in the dark and growled curses to himself, curses directed at his bloodline’s founder, Moira, for producing a line which couldn’t use its most basic mind powers properly during the day. Had it been night he would have turned both their minds inside out, but now he would have to wait for sunset to deal with the problem. He choked back a howl only because he didn’t want to disturb Caroline who was curled up on her bed nearby. Sleep like food would make her last longer. He kind of liked her company and didn’t want her to fade away too quickly.
But what to do about Anna and the psychic boy now they were aware of him? How could such an inept novice have done such major damage to the controls he had so carefully prepared? Ragnar was severely tempted to break his personal ethics and make the boy suffer for a long time for this, but quite apart from not wanting to cross that line he needed to eradicate the child’s influence on his Anna and keeping him alive would prevent that. Yes, he would have to remove the psychic boy from the picture.
Anna’s superior was a thornier issue, he wanted to kill her out of hand but it was far too soon to attract the kind of attention from the Order’s Inner Council which that might. Having said that she sat on the Council so he already had their attention – if she told them at least. Perhaps he could make it look like and accident. He would have to think about that. It would rather depend on what he decided to do about Anna now that she was aware of him. He could enforce her silence with a bit more effort – though how she’d resisted him at all was beyond him. But even if he did manage to enforce her silence would she be any use as a spy? He suspected not.
He got to his feet and covered Caroline with a blanket. It had been almost a week since he last fed on her and the colour was returning to her cheeks. Maybe he should give up on using Anna as a spy and bring her here. Caroline would like a friend and keeping two victims would allow him to keep them alive indefinitely, at least until Anna had been persuaded to see things his way. Then he could turn her. Even if she wouldn’t be any use against the Order as an infiltrator or spy after this she was still brilliant and not unattractive, and shehad a lot of useful information in her skull.
But to do that he would need to remove her superior and the psychic boy first. He lay back down. The boy would be easier. Yes, he thought as her drifted back into the sleep of the dead, he would deal with the boy tonight, the fool rode a motorbike, it would be easy to make it look like an accident. And then he would set to work on Anna’s mind again. He needed to see what he could salvage of the situation.
* * *
When David reached Tanya’s house that evening she wasn’t alone, as she lead him into the conservatory there was a honey blonde woman with warm brown eyes sitting in one of the chairs sipping on a cup of tea. She looked up and smiled at them.
“Ah! You must be David.” She rose to her feet and extended her hands.
“He is indeed. David this is Meredith. We’ve been discussing the – um – problem you uncovered yesterday.”
“Ah,” he said. “The werewolf hunter you mentioned.” He shook her hand. “Pleased to meet you.”
“Likewise,” she said as she sat back down. “I’ll be blunt and come straight to the point. Ian, the vampire you destroyed yesterday, was indeed a werewolf hunter. A damned good one actually. And I am one hundred percent certain that he wasn’t a vampire when I recruited him, and that was less than a year ago. I hunted vampires for long enough before I switched branches to recognise one when I see one. His hunting partner however probably wouldn’t recognise a vampire if one bit him on the nose, but given what Tanya told me I am checking up on him. I’m certain he’s human but I am concerned that whoever paralysed Ian may be after werewolf hunters in general.”
“What about the one Tanya said she had a few weeks back?”
“Ah, yes,” Meredith said. “You were about to tell me about that one when David arrived, weren’t you? I was able to identify Ian from the equipment you rescued. I’ll need to know more about the other one to check.”
“Yes,” Tanya agreed. “I was.” She gave an address. “That’s where I tracked him to.”
“Oh dear,” she said. “Yes, I do know that address. He was a werewolf hunter as well. Which just about does confirm that we have a vampire with a chip on her shoulder about werewolf hunters for some reason.”
“Or maybe it’s hypocrites that she has a problem with?” Tanya suggested with a smile but there was no venom in it.
Meredith shook her head. “No, I don’t think so. That really doesn’t feel right. This is about something else. Let me think about it. It might come to me if I do.” She eyed David across the china rim of her cup. “So, Tanya tells me that you share her opinion on werewolf hunting.”
“And she tells me that you feel much the same about us.”
Meredith rose to her feet and walked around behind him. “Yes, that’s true.” She put her hands on the back of his chair and leaned down. “I wouldn’t admit this to just anyone, but I saw too many things when I was a vampire hunter to be comfortable with a blanket evil definition. Especially after a vampire I was investigating saved me from being killed by a crazed werewolf.”
“Really?” He stared up at her. “I bet that’s quite the story.”
“It is,” Tanya said. “I’ve heard it and I’ve never quite known what to make of it, but it’s hardly relevant to the matter at hand. We’ve been compromised.”
“Indeed,” Meredith said. “Though I’d stake my life on Ian being a committed hunter.”
“Yeah, a little too committed from what I read of his notes,” Tanya said. “The kid had a case of the rampant paranoias to rival Rhiane.”
“Yeah, he called me twiceÂ last week to tell me that he had absolute proof that there was a werewolf among the werewolf hunters.”